I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia." Lysander professes his love to her in front of the Duke. Demetruis no longer loves Hermia but now loves Helena and confesses his love to her. "And all the faith, the virtue of my heart, the object and the pleasure of my eye is only Helena." Demetruis is telling Edgeus that he no longer loves his daughter Hermia but is now in love with Helena.
The men are supposed to be sick with love, vehement about it, and so sweet a woman would have to accept his advances. The woman’s role is very much a broad, sweeping statement. This allows for the notion that women are property to be claimed to run as the undercurrent to the courtly love system. This is evident in the way that Arcite and Palamon, Theseus, and even the Gods force Emelye into a marriage she wants no part in. The Knight tries his best to maintain a noble and romantic air to his story but the tale itself contradicts that.
Benvolio then suggests Romeo to attend a Capulet gathering where Rosaline will be outmatched by other beautiful girls but Romeo says that his affection for Rosaline will not change. The moment Romeo meets Juliet, his previous lovesick and depression are gone instantly as he quickly falls for Juliet. Romeo thinks of Juliet’s beauty as “I ne’er saw true beauty ‘til this night”, and swiftly makes plans to approach her regardless to the hatred between the two families. On the other hand Juliet is much more consistent throughout the play. At the beginning, Juliet remains not interested in love before and after meeting Paris, an eligible bachelor worthy for her.
The use of slapstick by Wilde produces a contrived and absurd plotline that is in every way unrealistic. The lack of morality in the characters defines how undeveloped they are. For example, Algernon uses the aphorism, "The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain" highlighting his ignorance and casual selfishness. Each one of the characters is in some way lacking either true morality or even awareness of reality. Gwendolyn in particular is fond and proud of her education yet in the end she easily forgives Jack for lying to her throughout the play underlying a sense of stupidity.
The trickery of love plays a proverbial role in “Much Ado About Nothing”. Beatrice and Benedick, having initially an antagonistic view on marriage, are deceived into loving one another, whilst Claudio deceives himself by allowing Don Pedro to woo Hero for him and by believing Don John the Bastard that Hero had been unfaithful the night before they wed. This portrays young Claudio as passive, flippant and inexperienced. The love between Hero and Claudio begins almost immediately when the young soldier Claudio returns from war, realising that he is deeply in love with Hero and wants to ask her father for permission to marry her. It is evident women in the early 1600’s
Gwendolen wants to marry a man called Ernest, not caring whether he possesses the qualities that comprise earnestness. This is evident as Gwendolen quickly forgives Jack’s deception and Lady Bracknell quickly forgets her earlier disapproval of Jack’s suitability for Gwendolen. Jack, the central character, is initially neither ‘Ernest’ nor ‘earnest’. Through forces at times beyond his control, he becomes both: a symbol of Victorian hypocrisy. Both Jack and Algernon lead a double life, known as ‘Bunburying’, the practice of creating an elaborate deception so as to misbehave whilst maintaining expected social standards of duty and responsibility, essentially, pretending to be earnest.
William Shakespeare establishes Benedick’s character by using diction and imagery to show his changed viewpoint on marriage. Benedick is strongly opinionated and rarely ever let’s his guard down when it comes to feelings or love. After he overhears that Beatrice is in love with him, he ponders what to do. The characterization is established through diction, “And wise, but for loving me; by my troth it is not addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her!” (II.3.235-237). He is saying that is might not be wise for loving him, but he swears it won’t be stupid for he is going to be “horribly” in love with her.
“Romeo and Juliet” is considered by many one of the greatest love stories to have ever been written. However, the tale is not one of love but a story of a young girl whose whims led her to be manipulated by a boy who was seeking out sex. The scene where Romeo and Juliet first meet demonstrates how fickle their infatuation is. The story begins with Romeo wailing over his lost love Rosaline, saying “And, in strong proof of chastity well-armed, from love’s weak childish bow, she lives uncharmed.” He continues his outburst by saying how useless Rosaline is if she is not willing to sleep with him. Benvoilo feels sympathy for the young brokenhearted man and encourages him to go to the Capulet’s party so he will forget the girl.
Her love for Orsino is constant, deep and pure whereas Orsino changes his love abruptly. Also, she unquestioningly carries out Orsino’s orders to woo Olivia even though she loves him: "Nothing but this – your true love for my master" (III. iv. 180). However, even Viola behaves in a slightly foolish way when she falls in love with Orsino.
As a guest Algernon eats all the muffins too greedily. On a deeper level the power struggle is about style. Jack is in earnest, serious and genuinely upset. Whereas Algernon is amused by the entire situation and careless of the consequences. Algernon’s attitude is the one that prevails leading the audience to identify it with the voice of Wilde: “In all important matters, style, not sincerity, is the essential”.